There is nothing new in Anime this week, but Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust has only been released on VHS in the US up until now, so this will be its DVD debut. It is based on the third novel in Yoshiaki Kawajiri’s Vampire Hunter book series, which has 27 novels so far. That is a bit misleading, since some of the novels take as many as 4 volumes to complete, there are a total of 40 books, with more expected to be in the works.Then there are two different spin off series of light novels; for the complete list, see the Wikipedia article about the franchise. Everything else coming out this week is a re-release, including the classics Patlabor Movie 3: WXIII and Ranma ½ – Set 7.
Last year the movie Monsterz was presented on the big screen by the Japan Society in New York. The film itself was made in Japan and released there in 2013, a remake of the 2010 Korean movie Haunters, telling the tale of two men with supernatural powers battling each other for control. This is another movie that has yet to be released in a domestic North American version, but I live in hope (and refuse to pay the price buying it as an import entails). The Korean original had been available here a few years back, but went out of print around 2013 or so.
Only Lovers Left Alive was a British/German romantic vampire drama that came out in 2013, but not anywhere near where I lived. It has been nominated for a number of awards, and received a lot of critical attention, including getting an 87% at Rotten Tomatoes. One of the vampires writes music and does scientific research, using Tesla’s inventions to power his house and vehicles. Another wrote about half of Shakespeare’s plays. It will finally be released in the US on August 19th, and I am looking forward to finally being able to see it.
Just saw almost this trailer in the theater before RED yesterday, with a small dialog difference that gave a bit more of the back story to the big screen version. The movie itself will be out on February 11th, and based on the trailer it might just be worth checking out. If you haven’t seen RED yet, you should head for your local presentation today; it was even better than the trailer and the buzz made it out to be.
I never thought I would be saying this, but they actually made a sequel to Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, called The Lost Skeleton Returns Again. The key points of this release in the IMDB Writeup seem to be that the returning actors are wearing the same clothes, and the director promised not to make another sequel. With luck it will be as funny as the first one.
I have been looking forward to the release of The Good, The Bad, The Weird since it hit a limited theater run earlier this year. This is a cowboy train robbery movie that takes place in the Chinese Wild West (Manchuria to you and me), with multiple groups including Korean Outlaws, Chinese Bandits, and the Japanese Army all going after the treasure. If it is a fraction as good as the trailer it should be a hoot, and funny besides.
Another one I have been anticipating is the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Season 2 complete collection. There is some debate on whether it comes out this week (one site puts it as far back as September 14th), and no indication as yet whether it includes the feature film, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. But I really do like the storyline, and season one had what may be my favorite song used in an Anime (at least in the top ten), God Bless.
There are a few darker releases this week; Casshern Sins continues the classic tale already presented with both a live action feature film and an animated TV series, about the cyborg who murdered the moon but may offer redemption and salvation to the robotic populace. Shigofumi: Letters from the Departed tells the animated tale of Kanaka (a talking walking staff) and Fumika (I’m not dead yet) as the Shigofumi Mail Carriers delivering messages of hate and love from the dead to the living. This rather strange and macabre series is Subbed, not Dubbed. I have always thought that which is better changes from one series or film to the next, and is a function of the fidelity of the translation and the quality of both sets of the voice actors.